fountain pens · handwriting · Pens · Platigum Pens · school · school pens · writing

Platignum Regal Fountain Pen (1950’s)

dscf2954-1-e1565200688420.jpgThere were quite a few Platignum fountain pens that carried the Regal name over the years. These two were made in the 1950’s and they were a fairly basic budget pen. It was replaced in the late 1950’s by a completely different Regal which was more top of the Platignum line. That model was a metal capped press bar filler which Platignum called Pressac and then soon after with a squeeze filler Pressmatic with a 14 carot gold nib. I don’t know when the model reviewed was first made but I have two of the later Pressmatic models which were presents in 1957/58. Specification: Traditional lever fill and I think that along with the slightly smaller Silverline pens were around the last of the Platignum pens to use this lever fill method. The ink sac is black (Butyl?) which surprisingly was still used in the Streamline model in the 1960’s when pretty well all the other pens in the range had changed to the clear polythene like plastic. The nib is easily interchangeable with the then vast range of well over forty different nibs the company made. They did a range of left handed nibs and more specialised nibs like Script and Shorthand as well as the usual Italic ones. I expect the majority like my two pens have the medium nibs marked first quality which were usually fitted as standard. They also made Iridium tipped as well as the gold ones, the Iridium tipped medium is a favorite of mine as it writes rather good Pitman’s Shorthand as well! The nib and comb unit just unscrews from the pen and then you just screw the replacement in. Performance: No real surprises here really. Both pens were a job lot that I bought in order to get some nibs which were old stock. The first pen wrote just as I would have expected or hoped might be a bettter way of putting it. The nib wrote smoothly and produced the usual medium line of the time which is a little finer than most medium nib pens produced today. The second wrote smoothly but was wet and the writing looked more like an Italic nib! It looked okay though and often problems with platignum pens is a hairline crack in the comb but this looked to be alright. I changed it for a new nib and both pens performed exactly the same. The clip on the cap didn’t bend out of shape like some cheap pens do and clipped securely to a shirt or thick outside sports jacket pocket. Since some of these pens would have been used as a school pen it was also carried in the top outside pocket of a traditional thick wool prep school blazer which looks rather like something out of the 1950’s as well! It didn’t really care much how it was treated either. It wrote instantly after being kept upright for a couple of days. I didn’t write too wet after being left laying down overnight like many pens do and it survived several trips in an old wooden pen box which was also from the 1950’s although I suspect that if it was jostled around enough it could be made to leak a little and perhaps write a bit wet. During the trial of a few weeks it always performed as any good pen should. I very much doubt if anybody thought anything much about their Regal pen back then. It was just a cheap reliable pen of the day which nobody gave a second thought to. Conclusions? Lever fill pens are a bit of a rarity today and if you fancy a bit of 1950’s nostalgia then the Regal should fit the bill. They are getting a bit long in the tooth now and many will not have been used for half a century or more but there are still plenty out there and I see quite a few have been refurbished for around the £10 mark. You can always take a chance though and you can often pick one up for a couple of pounds either on an auction site like Ebay or a car boot sale. Both my pens are fine except for the nib on one and that was okay after I soaked it overnight. Sometimes the ink sac has perished and replacing one can be a little fraught or impossible if the barrel won’t come off with a little persuasion and some gentle heat. The quickly interchangeable nibs for the Platignum Regal and Silverline pens often appear on auction sites, there still seems to be an awful lot of new old stock still around. The 1950’s Regal is hardly exotic or I would have thought particularly collectable either but still a nice reliable pen  for everyday use.



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